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Goalkeeper-Kicker Combo Working Again for Owatonna

Stop soccer balls on Thursday. Kick footballs on Friday. That’s been the schedule for Aidan Buryska the past three years, just as it was for Carter McCauley before that.

Buryska has played soccer since he was little but hadn’t played football until he watched what McCauley was doing on the gridiron while also back-stopping the soccer program to consecutive state tournament appearances. Buryska worked with McCauley over a summer to learn the skills of kicking a football.

This is his third year doing double duty during the fall. Buryska set a school record with 11 extra point kicks in last year’s wild win at Austin. He just hit 7-for-7 against the Packers last week. He converted one field goal this season. Another try was stopped by a bad snap that Buryska picked up and ran with before being tackled. It was a not hard tackle but might have stopped the heart of soccer coach Bob Waypa for a moment.

Buryska made a tackle while handling kickoffs his sophomore year. He says he just got in the way of the ball carrier and was able to pull him down. This season, junior Josh Nelson is handling kickoffs for the Huskies and sent several into the end zone for touch backs against Austin. Nelson is also a goalkeeper for the soccer team.

The Owatonna boys soccer team just scored a huge win over Austin 2-1 on Tuesday, derailing the conference hopes of the Packers. The Huskies close the regular season Thursday hosting Mankato East with playoffs starting next week.

McCauley just kicked the game-winning field goal in Winona State University’s win over Minnesota State-Mankato, earning NSIC Special Teams Player of the Week honors. Buryska plans to pursue soccer in college.

Owatonna hosts Rochester Mayo on Friday at 7PM. The game has big playoff implications, with the winner having the inside track for the top seed in the tournament in addition to taking over the lead in the sub-district standings. Friday is also Owatonna’s Sack Cancer game, with proceeds benefiting local charities From the Heart and the Relay for Life.

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Roy Koenig, Townsquare Media

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